27th Nov2019

‘Knives Out’ Review

by Alex Ginnelly

Stars: Daniel Craig, Chris Evans, Ana de Armas, CHristopher Plummer, Don Johnson, Jamie Lee Curtis, Michael Shannon, Toni Collette, LaKeith Stanfield, Katherine Langford, Jaeden Martell, Riki Lindhome, Edi Patterson, Frank Oz, K Callan | Written and Directed by Rian Johnson


Knives Out is an old school whodunnit with a refreshing twist that is whip smart and as sharp as a knife. Even if you do manage to figure out all the pieces by the end, there’s no way of knowing just how much fun you’ll have getting there.

Rian Johnson gets to shake off the cobwebs and blow the dust off this old genre as he brings it back to life in the funniest way possible. Fresh off the heels of the mega franchise that is Star Wars, Rian Johnson is back to where we love to see him with his own original film. Now for me, Rian Johnson is yet to put a foot wrong, from his indie hit Brick to Star Wars: The Last Jedi, I’ve loved everything he’s ever done, and that hasn’t changed with his latest hit Knives Out. This film blooms before your eyes, it’s confident filmmaking that makes you feel every bit of fun the cast and crew were having fooling us every bit of the way. What we are all so desperate to know is what happened to crime novelist Harlan Thrombey (Christopher Plummer) on his 85th birthday – was it murder or suicide?

That’s what Detective Benoit Blanc (Daniel Craig) must figure out. Set at Harlan’s gothic estate, Blanc must round up the band of misfits that make up Harlan’s family, and figure out what’s afoot! Armed with his label of “The Last of the Gentlemen Sleuths”, and his southern accent, Daniel Craig breaks off the shackles of Bond and looks like he’s loving every minute of it. It’s so great to see Craig in a role like this, allowing him to play and have fun every second he’s on screen and the fun he’s having is so contagious.

The detectives suspicions fall on the all star cast of Harlan’s family members, everyone unique, everyone played so deliciously with scene stealer after scene stealer. Jamie Lee Curtis tears up everything and everyone in her path as Linda, with fiery tongued bursts at each family member. None more than her husband Richard (Don Johnson) who’s roguish charm, with just a splash of menace, makes for some fantastic exchanges. Linda’s brother Walt, played by Michael Shannon, is also a stand out with the exterior of a weak man with a fire burning and ready to boil over at any moment. But the best of them all is Chris Evans, who gets the best laughs and looks like he’s having as much fun as Craig, breaking off those Captain America chains. He plays Ransom, the dark horse of the family who thinks his whole family is guilty. You just don’t know what fun is until you’re watching Chris Evans in a white knitted sweater watching the rest of his family boil over into yet another argument.

Next to Craig in the lead is Ana de Armas who plays Harlan’s nurse and best friend. It’s her job to team up with Craig and crack the case. Watching these two on screen is a huge relief for Bond fans as she is set to star alongside Craig in No Time to Die, which is set for an April 2020 release. It’s her breakthrough performance and her character that takes the audience through the puzzle of this crazy family, producing another great performance amongst so many stand outs.

In the end though there’s a killer to catch, and Rian Johnson’s original directing and the editing of Bob Ducsay keeps you on your toes as you turn every corner. The best part of the film is it’s twists and turns, the main twist is a unique take on the whodunnit genre and is what really makes the film so much more fun than anything before it. It’s so much twisted fun that it keeps you guessing and on the edge of your seat until the end.

***** 5/5

Knives Out is in cinemas now.


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